Delle Donne high on visit to Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh recently amassed one of the top ten recruiting classes in the nation. Most fans assumed Head Coach Dave Wannstedt would take a small break from adding talent to Pitt's roster. They thought wrong. The Panthers hosted a very talented quarterback prospect this weekend.

"The visit this weekend was great," stated quarterback Gene Delle Donne (6-ft-6 inches, 245 pounds) from Salesianum High School in Wilmington, DE. Delle Donne visited the University of Pittsburgh this weekend. "I was able to meet Coach (Dave) Wannstedt, Coach (Matt) Cavanaugh and my primary contact, Coach (Paul) Dunn. He recruits my area."

Gene committed to Duke a year ago and spent his year sitting out as a redshirt. He opted to transfer after a change in their offensive scheme. Delle Donne was named the 2004 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Delaware in 2005. ranked him the 31st best quarterback in the nation and a "three-star" prospect.

"I arrived on Friday. On Saturday I was able to sit down with Coach Cavanaugh and discuss their offensive philosophy and scheme. He and Coach Wannstedt have professional experience and they want to implement a pro-style offense that suits my strengths well."

"We were able to tour the facilities. They were simply unbelievable. I couldn't believe how nice they were."

Delle Donne finished his senior season at Salesianum School with a 9-1 record, including an unbeaten record instate. He was 108-of-175 (62% comp) for 1,625 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing 36 carries for 265 yards, equaling a 7.36 yards per carry average.

When asked about his first impressions of Coach Wannstedt, he stated, "It's was a great experience. You see this guy on television and in the NFL. I guess you assume he could be arrogant or something but he was the total opposite. He's a great guy, very direct and down to earth. I enjoyed our one on one talk."

"Coach Wannstedt told me that the program is going to take a change in the right direction. We talked about some of the players coming in and their great recruiting class. Coach and I talked about how I would fit into their plans and the possibility to compete for a starting position."

Although the visit went very well, Gene was hesitant to state that the Panthers were a lock for his services. "I really like Pitt and they are very high on my list," he said. "I'll probably take at least one more trip. Right now it looks like Connecticut, Rutgers and Syracuse are still on my list. I'm not sure which one I'll visit."

During his tour of the football facilities, Delle Donne had the opportunity to meet 2007 verbal commitment Chris Jacobson. Panther fans can only hope that "Lumpy" will be protecting Gene on the football field in the future.

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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